Kodava is a Dravidian language spoken in Kodagu district (ಕೊಡಗು) of Karnataka state in southern India. In 2001 there were about 166,000 speakers of Kodava, which is also known as Kodava Takk, Kodava takka or Coorgi.
There are two dialects of Kodava: Mendele, which is spoken in Northern and Central Kodagu, and Kiggat, which is spoken in Kiggat naadu in Southern Kodagu.
Kodava was formerly considered a dialect of Kannada, however in the early 20th century linguists recognized it as a separate language. It is closely related to Tamil, Tulu, Kannada and Malayalam.
Kodava is usually written with the Kannada alphabet, and sometimes with the Malayalam alphabet. Until the 20th century it was rarely written. The most important piece of Kodava literature, a collection of folksongs and traditions known as Pattole Palame, was published in 1924 by Nadikerianda Chinnappa.
The Coorgi-Cox alphabet was developed in 2005 by a German linguist, Gregg M. Cox, as a new way to write Kodava. The alphabet was developed in response to a request from Kodava speakers for a unique alphabet to write their language. The Coorgi-Cox provides a single alphabet for all Kodava speakers, and was introduced with CDs and postcards in March and April 2005.
Corrections and additions by Wolfram Siegel
Information about the Coorgi-Cox alphabet and Kodava language
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